I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Mass Effect: Andromeda’s somewhat disappointing animations.
You’ve possibly seen the amusing GIFs, read the angry thoughts of the vocal knuckleheads that somehow equate its animations to the overall quality of the game, maybe even downloaded the 10 hour trial via Origin/EA Access to see what all the hubbub is about first-hand; the truth is though, they really shouldn’t be the focus of your attention. The odd funny face aside, Mass Effect: Andromeda is Mass Effect through and through.
I guess it all depends on what you prioritise in games. If you hold visual presentation above all else, then Mass Effect: Andromeda will indeed disappoint. I’d say you’ve only got yourself to blame though – it’s a Bioware game after all; they’ve always been home to janky animations and sterile movement during dialogue. If you value gameplay however, then Mass Effect: Andromeda undoubtedly improves upon the previous trilogy’s formula. From what I’ve played up to now, the story seems up to scratch too.
Playing Mass Effect: Andromeda reminds me very much of my time spent with the first game in the series. Being able to explore planets on foot or in the safety of the six-wheeled Nomad gives that sense of adventure and discovery that its sequels lacked. I want to explore every nook and cranny of Mass Effect: Andromeda’s open maps, gathering resources, exploring alien structures and solving curious mysteries. It’s something that I’ve missed.
Of course, along the way, you’re going to bump into a lot of hostile forces. Indigenous lifeforms are one thing to worry about, but it’s the rather scary-looking Kett that are your main danger. Combat is much improved in Mass Effect: Andromeda in my opinion thanks largely to your enhanced movement options. You can dash out of the way of danger, boost jump over obstacles, and even hover in the air for a short amount of time to get a better vantage point. Granted the automatic cover system can be a bit of a pain at times, but warfare in Mass Effect: Andromeda feels more energetic, more alive.
Look, I’d be blinkered if I didn’t acknowledge that Mass Effect: Andromeda has issues, but the animation isn’t something you should get hung up about. Things like poor performance and the occasional glitch are much more bothersome. Fortunately though, such problems haven’t detracted too much from my experience with the game.
Mass Effect: Andromeda currently has me engrossed in its world. I want to discover the Ketts’ intentions, I want to create new outposts on hospitable planets, and I want to build relationships with my team. It’s everything I could have wanted a new Mass Effect game to be. When I’ve finally completed it I’ll go into more detail with a review, but until then, please don’t dismiss it because of a hackneyed online hate campaign centred on one line of awkward dialogue and some unfortunate facial expressions. Mass Effect: Andromeda is more than that.